The most flattering swimwear styles for every shape

Welcome to woman&home’s online shopping guides, where we reveal where to buy the most popular and top-rated products. This guide is about where to buy the most flattering swimwear styles for every shape, but you may also be interested in our edits of leopard print sandals, and supportive sports bras.

Are you planning a seaside trip or turning your garden into a sunbathing oasis this summer? We don't believe that there's a woman out there who doesn't have something to show off, but if you're lacking in confidence, nothing will give you a boost like some well cut flattering swimwear.

And you’re in luck: we’ve picked out the best styles for every shape, so you can fully enjoy your time in the sun without worrying about lumps, bumps and problem areas.

We all have bits we don’t like – a troublesome tummy we want controlling, a bigger bust we want lifting and curves we want flattering. At Woman & Home we want to make it easy for you so we've answered a few key questions we often get asked, and worked hard to bring you an edit of affordable swimwear solutions that cover every body shape.

How do I chose a swimsuit for my body type?

Every body is different and although we tend to categorise body shapes into types such as curvy/ pear/apple shaped etc, with swimwear the three main rules of swimwear are finding a suit that accentuates the features you love, cleverly disguises area's you're not so keen on and has a secure and flattering fit.

So if you’re proud of your legs, try a suit with slightly higher cut thighs, if you love your arms or collar bones direct attention to your top half with details such as colour, pattern or ruffles. Cleverly placed print and panelling is a genius ways to trick the eye.

If you have a darker bottom half and printed top the eye will always be drawn up to the print (great for drawing attention away from hips and middle area's). If you have a large bust always head to a site which has the options of cup size. Bravissimo, Figleaves, Pour Moi and Next are all great options. It's also good idea to order two sizes of each style, so that you can select the one that fits you best. Remember that swimsuits will expand in the water, so you might want to pick a suit that's a little tighter than you'd like if you're planning to get it wet, however you don't want any cutting straps or pinching elastic.

What is the best swimsuit to hide a tummy?

The majority of swimsuits now have built in control and sculpting technology, so when searching for swimwear this should be your go to. Details such as ruching across the stomach can really work wonders to disguise a tummy. Ruching works because the fabric looks draped rather than stretched over a larger area. A printed ruche works even harder to disguise a tummy as the eye has to travel all around the print to take it in, rather than focus on one area.

Redirecting attention away from your middle or problem area's is an old but successful trick, so a darker coloured swimsuit with fabulous bright sun hat is also an easy option. Tankini's are also flattering options, a style such as Magisculpts blouson set and Bonprix's empire line style means that the fabric falls from you bust to skim (and not cling) over the tummy area.

Swim dresses such as this style at Curvissa are also fantastic for when you want stomach and bottom coverage.

What colour swimsuit is most slimming?

It’s easy to be tempted to stick to dark colours, especially black but while black does give the appearance of a slimmer figure by making shadows less visible. But beware - it really doesn't suit everyone and can make you appear older, bringing out lines and dark circles under the eyes, especially when worn next to the face.

With this in mind, choosing a dark swimsuit with some complimentary colour on the top half is a win win option. However, truly slimming swimwear is definitely more about the cut than the colour, so chose shades you feel confident in and you know suit you.

If you have colourful pieces of clothing that you always get complimented in then this is a sure set to know that it suits you. And don't be put off by print - styles that have cleverly placed side panelling such as this £30 Magisculpt suit work wonders to sculpt your curves making you appear slimmer. We also love Miraclesuit's range - designed to help you look 10lbs lighter, the shape enhancing designs elongate your legs, minimise your waist, support your bust and control your tummy. The exclusive Miratex fabric provides three times the control of other fabrics, working hard to smooth and show off your beautiful curves. Known as the 'swim couture' of swimwear it's well worth the splurge!

Focusing on what you need to improve about your body before you’ll allow yourself to feel confident is a losing game. Once you realize that your body is perfect, just the way it is, you’ll feel a lot better about putting on any kind of swimsuit. We like to remind ourselves of Meghan Markle's favourite poem by Matt Haig which she quotes is “A personal favourite and the best reminder during the summer season or any season, as a matter of fact.”

You are one of 200,000 generations of human beings.I have seen them all.I will see all the generations that come after you, too.It won’t be as many. I’m sorry.I hear the whispers the sea tells me.(The sea hates you. The Poisoners. That’s what it calls you. A bit melodramatic, I know. But that’s the sea for you. All drama.)And I have to tell you something else.Even the other people on the beach don’t care about your body.They don’t.They are staring at the sea, or they are obsessed with their own appearance.And if they are thinking about you, why do you care?Why do you humans worry so much about a stranger’s opinion?Why don’t you do what I do? Let it wash all over you.Allow yourself just to be as you are.Just be.Just beach.

Extract from A Note from the Beach, by Matt Haig.

So set aside an evening to go on a swimwear cyber search and be excited – you’ll feel positively fabulous once you’ve found the figure-flattering bikini or swimming costume that’s right for you! No one likes getting all their kit off but luckily you can try all these affordable styles in the comfort of your own home.

Swimwear Styles For Every Shape

John Lewis & Partners Palm Tree Belted Control Swimsuit, Blue

John Lewis & Partners Palm Tree Belted Control Swimsuit, Blue

£39, sizes 8-18, John Lewis & Partners Tummy toning Sculpt your figure with control front lining and a waist-defining belt. The clean square neckline is balanced with a low scoop back. Non-underwired with removable padding this suit is perfect for those with a smaller bust who want to create shape.

VIEW NOW: John Lewis & Partners Palm Tree Belted Control Swimsuit, Blue

Figleaves Bora Bora Underwired Halter Tie Bikini Top

Figleaves Bora Bora Underwired Halter Tie Bikini Top

£35, sizes 30F-38G, Figleaves Natural lift for large cup sizes Retro halternecks are perfect for accentuating curves and this stunning red design is underwired yet unpadded giving you a natural lift up to a 38G cup.

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Figleaves Bora Bora High Waist Wrap Tie Tummy Control Bikini Bottom

Figleaves Bora Bora High Waist Wrap Tie Tummy Control Bikini Bottom

£20, sizes 8-22, Figleaves

VIEW NOW: Figleaves Bora Bora High Waist Wrap Tie Tummy Control Bikini Bottom

Figleaves Illusion Curve Draped Firm Control Swimsuit

Figleaves Illusion Curve Draped Firm Control Swimsuit

£50, sizes 18-26, Figleaves Plus size curve illusion In a firm control fabric that smooths your silhouette, this suit has flattering ruching over the tummy and a high back for support. Its non wired with wide supoortive straps that finish in a stunning criss-cross at the back.

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Figleaves Panache Catarina Balconnette navy swimsuit

Figleaves Panache Catarina Balconnette navy swimsuit

£56, sizes 30D - 40K, Panache at swimwear365.co.uk Instantly slimming design The ultimate slimming design this suit draws the eye inwards to literally suck you in. With medium tummy control and underwired concealed balconette cups to provide comfortable hidden support up to a K cup.

VIEW NOW: Figleaves Panache Catarina Balconnette navy swimsuit

Marks & Spencer Tummy Control Floral Wrap Plunge Swimsuit

Marks & Spencer Tummy Control Floral Wrap Plunge Swimsuit

£28, sizes 8-24, M&S Tummy concealing combo If you want to hide your tummy area, pick out a style with clever ruching and an all over print. Remember prints on darker backgrounds are also naturally more slimming. With added tummy control and padded cups this is a winning summer style.

VIEW NOW: Marks & Spencer Tummy Control Floral Wrap Plunge Swimsuit

Curvy Kate Tropicana Moulded Plunge Bikini Top

Curvy Kate Tropicana Moulded Plunge Bikini Top

£36, sizes 32D-38HH, Curvy Kate at curvissa.co.uk Cut for curves Investing in swimwear that is especially designed for curves and larger busts means you'll always get a more flattering secure fit. This style has multi way straps that can be worn in 3 ways.

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Curvy Kate Tropicana Reversible Short

Curvy Kate Tropicana Reversible Short

£24, sizes 10-20, Curvy Kate at curvissa.co.uk

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H&M floral shaping swimsuit,

H&M floral shaping swimsuit,

£29. 99, sizes 4-22, H&M Body lengthening A plunge style will instantly give a short torso the illusion of being longer. Add this to the higher (yet not scarily high) cut briefs and your legs will feel the benefit too. This pretty style is fully lined with a sculpting effect that holds in and shapes the tummy and bum.

VIEW NOW: H&M floral shaping swimsuit,

Figleaves Seville Underwired Halter Embroidered Black Tummy Control Swimsuit D-GG

Figleaves Seville Underwired Halter Embroidered Black Tummy Control Swimsuit D-GG

£55, sizes D-GG, Figleaves Hip slimming Avoid attention on your lower half by drawing the eye upwards with details such as pretty embroidery, stitching and a halterneck.

VIEW NOW: Figleaves Seville Underwired Halter Embroidered Black Tummy Control Swimsuit D-GG

Rainbow floral multiway bikini

Rainbow floral multiway bikini

£29.99, Bonprix Multi straps up to a size 24 Retro designs are made to compliment curves. With removable straps you can chose from 2 halterneck styles and traditional straps. Large briefs are perfect for tummy coverage. This style is underwired with moulded cups.

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Monsoon one shouldered swimsuit

Monsoon one shouldered swimsuit

£19_50 (was £39), sizes 8-22, Monsoon Hip disguising Ideal for those smaller ontop with wider hips, this one shouldered suit draws the eye upwards to focus on the pretty scalloped details- taking any attention away from your lower half.

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White Stuff Sand Dunes Ruched Swimsuit, Jade Green

White Stuff Sand Dunes Ruched Swimsuit, Jade Green

£26.60, sizes 6-20, White Stuff at John Lewis and Partners Tummy disguising Clever ruching around the tummy area disguises a tummy while the pretty printed side panels draw you in to create a smaller waist.

VIEW NOW: White Stuff Sand Dunes Ruched Swimsuit, Jade Green

Long Tall Sally illusion print swimsuit

Long Tall Sally illusion print swimsuit

£55, sizes 8-24, Long Tall Sally Tall figures A bestselling swimsuit for a reason. This style is unbelievably flattering for long torsos. With its power lining and slimming wrap and ruche, it features removable breast cups for your best shape yet.

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Evans Boutique Black Hibiscus Floral Print Swimsuit

Evans Boutique Black Hibiscus Floral Print Swimsuit

£19 (was £38), sizes 14-28, Evans Illusion slimming panels A skillful print and panelling combination can shave inches off your waist. This pretty print draws the eye inwards while the darker side panels disguise lumps and bumps.

VIEW NOW: Evans Boutique Black Hibiscus Floral Print Swimsuit